Middaugh's struggles continue

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

There’s something about playing in an Olympics trials that brings out the worst in Wayne Middaugh.

The two-time world champ fell out of contention in Tuesday morning’s loss to Kevin Martin.

With an 0-3 start, Middaugh would need a miracle to get back in the race. That put him right there with youngster Jason Gunnlaugson in the winless column.

“I’d say we’re on life support,” said Middaugh. “We’re not playing that bad, half a shot here or there and that seems to be making the difference. We’re close but we’re not that close.”

Now in this third trials, Middaugh’s loss put his career trials record at 5-16, hardly what could be expected out of a two-time world champion.

“I wish I had an answer for you,” said Middaugh. “It’s one event, it’s one week long. Three times in a row. Even when I went as Glenn’s (Howard) fifth (in 2005), I seemed to bring him down.

There’s something about it. I don’t think we’re playing that bad, but we’re just not putting the points on the board.”

It’s been a decade since Middaugh won his last world championship. Even though he’s ranked No. 8 on the Order of Merit, he’s earned just $10,000 on the tour this season, well down the list.

His passion for the game has not waned but other priorites have taken over.

“I love the game and play the best I can every chance I get,” said Middaugh. “You know what? Time’s not there. I have a career. I have a family and those things are pretty important. I wish I could curl and play and give it everything I could. You’ve still got to support your family and be a good dad.

“We play a little bit, but not like I did 10 years ago. Nothing like I did 10 years ago.”

Even though he seems jinxed at this event, he’s not about to give up on the Olympic dream.

“If I can keep qualifying for these things, I’ll keep coming,” said Middaugh.


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